Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) on July 28 released a whitepaper on data ownership for blockchain and IIoT.
The white paper takes about potential benefits and risks of integrating blockchain in internet of things (IIoT) projects. There are many issues related to application of blockchain in IIoT that have not been resolved, says the report.
The paper has mentioned many benefits of using blockchain in IIoT. Blockchain makes the IIoT data secure which can neither be tempered with, nor can be stolen. This is the biggest benefit of using blockchain in IIoT project, says the paper.
Other benefits specifically mentioned by the paper include device monitoring, edge autonomy, truck odometer fraud prevention.
Tamper-proof chain of custody, enabled by blockchain, can keep an eye on ll the important events taking place in IIoT ecosystem. Even any structural changes happening in the ecosystem could easily be tracked by blockchain, says the report.
Three possible patterns for the distribution of data in a blockchain-based IIoT solution, mentioned in the report are:
- Platform-controlled wallet
- Asset-controlled wallet
- Smart Contracts Enhancement
In the platform-controlled wallet, all data and control flows are managed centrally by the three tiers of platform, which include Edge Tier, Platform Tier and Enterprise Tier.
Such system gives the owner full control over data. This system can easily be managed from remote locations.
In the asset-controlled wallet, t every asset has an embedded wallet to sign and access its data on the blockchain or provide access to the data. However, this pattern is not without some disadvantages. Custom hardware is costly; its deployment and maintenance costs are high.
Smart contracts enhancement makes both the logged data and the business logic secure. It t enables an independent execution of business logic between stakeholders
In all these three patterns, outlined in the paper, private keys control the data.
One approach is to have the platform manager centrally control the wallets. A second approach is to have the wallets live on the device, while in the third approach, smart contracts can be allowed to implement business logic.
All these three approaches have relative merits and demerits. As mentioned above, the cost of hardware is the biggest hindrance in the second approach.